Instructional Faculty for Music at AFTA

AFTA offers an impressive instructional faculty covering a diverse range of musical disciplines with an abundance of professional experience and accomplishments.

From piano lessons for beginners through advanced voice training, our music instructors have rich and diverse backgrounds in performance and teaching.


Organ, Piano, and Percussion Lessons

Tate Addis – Piano and Organ Teacher

Tate Addis, piano and organ instructorTate received a Bachelor of Music (piano) degree from Wichita State University, and a Master of Music and Artist’s Certificate (piano) from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance under Robert Weirich. While in Kansas City, Tate served as organist at Second Presbyterian Church from 2008-2013. He graduated from Yale University’s School of Sacred Music in May of 2015 with a Master’s in Organ Performance. >>MORE

David Bruce – Percussion Teacher

Instructional Faculty, David Bruce, percussion instructorDavid Bruce is percussion/drum set instructor at Montreat College. Additionally, he has taught private concert percussion lessons and drum set lessons to over 100 students, many of whom have received honors in All-County, All-District, and All-State competitions. He is a percussionist with the Asheville Lyric Opera, the Asheville Community Theater and the Haywood Arts Regional Theater. >>MORE

David Foster – Piano and Organ Teacher

David Foster, piano and organ instructor

David Foster holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University; all three degrees were in organ performance. He was a Fulbright scholar for two years, studying under Michael Schneider in Köln, Germany. David served as organist at First Baptist Church of Asheville for over thirty-seven years. >>MORE

Ko Eun (Grace) Lee – Piano Teacher

Grace Lee, piano teacher at AFTA South Korean native Ko Eun (Grace) Lee graduated with an Artist Diploma in Piano Performance at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2015. She completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and the Post Master’s Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012. Dr. Lee received the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music in 2009. >>MORE

Clark Sorrells – Piano and Voice Teacher

Clark Sorrells, piano and voice instructionClark Sorrells holds a Bachelor of Music from Carson Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee and a Master of Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. Clark has taught private piano lessons and voice lessons for over 30 years. He is an accomplished performer in both disciplines, and a published composer of solo piano and choral works. Besides teaching music lessons at AFTA, Clark is Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Asheville. >>MORE

Karen Sorrells – Piano Teacher

Karen Sorrells, piano instructorKaren Sorrells is Director of AFTA as well as Associate Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Asheville where she leads and works with various choirs, as well as playing piano for worship. For several years, Karen has taught at the Fine Arts Summer Academy with the Annie Moses Band in Nashville, TN. Karen spends a lot of time working with children’s choir, but has also taught at the college level. She has taught private piano lessons for over 30 years. >>MORE


String Lessons

Frances Duff – Cello Teacher

Frances Duff, cello teacherWith her professional experience, a Master of Music degree, and certification in the Suzuki teaching method, Frances is certainly a talented cello teacher. She began her cello studies in junior high school and moved on to the prestigious Conservatoire de musique de Quebec in Montreal and then McGill University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music. She is currently principal cello and assistant principal cello with local Symphony orchestras. >>MORE

Josh Goforth – Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo, and Bass Teacher

Josh Goforth, fiddle and banjo lessonsJosh is an award-winning Master Fiddler whose passion is encouraging a love of traditional music through teaching fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass and banjo lessons. Goforth is already much in demand as a music teacher and performs full time as well. He has performed all over the world and received a Grammy nomination in a collaboration with David Holt. One of his goals is to increase youth interest in traditional music. >>MORE

Lelia Lattimore – Harp Teacher

Lelia Lattimore, teaches how to play the harpMrs. Lattimore is happy teaching harp to students of all ages, from those needing to select their first instrument, to those preparing for auditions and recitals. Lelia has been a professional harpist for 30 years. She is the principal harpist with the Asheville Symphony, the Hendersonville Symphony, the Brevard Philharmonic and the Johnson City Symphony. As a freelance musician, Mrs. Lattimore has shared the stage with musical greats such as Ray Charles, Robert Goulet, CeCe Winans and more. >>MORE

Karen Pommerich – Violin and Viola Teacher

Karen Pommerich, viola teacherKaren brings years of experience as a performer as well as teacher to her role as violin and viola teacher at AFTA. She has taught private students for 20 years, from beginners to career-level musicians. Karen works with local ensembles including the Asheville Symphony, Asheville Lyric Opera, and Charlotte Symphony. Karen also believes in the healing power of music and often shares her music with patients as a visiting solo performer. >>MORE

Mariya Potapova – Violin Teacher

Mariya Potapova, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, grew up in a family of musicians.  Mariya began studying violin at age 8. Potapova moved to the United States in 1999, where she started studying with world-renown professor Vadim Voyler.  During that time Mariya had won two first place awards in instrumental competitions.  Currently Mariya holds two BA degrees from UNCA in Psychology and Music. She is a member of Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Symphony, SC, Opal String Quartet as well as Asheville’s Temple Trio.  >>MORE

 Ben Smith – Cello Teacher

Benjamin Smith, a native of Spartanburg, SC, holds a B.A. in Music from Florida State University, an M.M. in Music Business and Entertainment Industries from the University of Miami. He is an extremely active professional cellist in Western North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, performing with many orchestras, chamber ensembles, and in solo performances. He is Assistant Professor of Music Business at Montreat College where he also directs the Montreat Chamber Orchestra.  >>MORE

Jerry Sutton – Guitar, Banjo, and Ukulele Teacher

Jerry Sutton, banjo instructorJerry Sutton, widely respected as one of the “hottest old time pickers around,” brings to AFTA a life-time of playing experience and uniquely personal teaching style for students of the 6-string guitar and the 5-string banjo. Family and friends alike cite him as an important musical mentor. He can be heard on recordings with his father, Grover Sutton, with the Hominy Valley String Band and the Pisgah Pickers, as well as with his son Bryan on Sugar Hill Records. >>MORE

Katie Waldren – Hammered Dulcimer and Lap Dulcimer Teacher

KatieWaldrenKatie found her musical voice on the lap dulcimer in 1971. Swept up by the dulcimer’s uniqueness, Katie began integrating its sound with other instruments at churches & coffee houses from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. In 1979, she relocated to NC, immersing herself in the musical culture of Madison County. She founded The Western North Carolina Dulcimer Collective in 1981 and began her series of Mountain Dulcimer Companion books. >>MORE


Woodwind and Brass Lessons

Rosalind Buda – Bassoon Teacher

Rosalind Buda, bassoon instructorBassoonist Rosalind Buda, is an active chamber musician, orchestral musician, and teacher in Asheville, NC. In addition to teaching at Academy for the Arts, Rosalind is adjunct professor of bassoon at Brevard College, Mars Hill University, Gardner-Webb University, and has been a guest teacher at Eastern Tennessee State University. As a teacher, she helps students gain confidence, develop good practice techniques, form personal goals, and seek out performance experiences. >>MORE

Casey Coppenbarger – Trumpet Teacher

Casey Coppenbarger, trumpet instructorCasey Coppenbarger has over 30 years of experience as a teacher of trumpet, 14 of which are at the collegiate level. Comfortable teaching all ages from 7 to 70, Casey can take you from first note to post collegiate level. Coppenbarger is Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the UNC Asheville. He is a member of the Asheville Symphony, the E♭ soprano cornetist for the Smoky Mountain Brass Band, and is an active soloist and clinician throughout the southeastern United States. >>MORE

Brian Garland – Trumpet Teacher

Brian Garland studied trumpet performance at the Boston Conservatory earning a Master’s of Music and received a Bachelor’s of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While living in Boston he performed throughout the city with the Accent Brass Quintet and the New England Philharmonic. As a pedagogue Brian specializes in orchestral studies, classical solo literature, and brass quintet repertoire. >>MORE

Michael Hosford – Euphonium, Trombone, and Tuba Teacher

Michael Hosford, trombone instructorMichael Hosford studied at Oberlin Conservatory and completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Trombone Performance at the Juilliard School, studying with Per Brevig (Metropolitan Opera) and Michael Powell (American Brass Quintet) respectively. He performed with such world-class ensembles as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, and for the Broadway productions of The King and I, 1776, Candide, Les Miserables, The Music Man, Parade, and The Lion King. >>MORE

Steve Loew – Clarinet Teacher

Mr. Loew was born in Brooklyn, New York and began serious clarinet studies at the Juilliard School of Music where he was principal clarinetist in the orchestra under the direction of Maestro James Conlon. Steve received a Long Island Musicians Scholarship and a full tuition scholarship as winner of the Newsday competition to study at Hofstra University where he was principal clarinetist with the orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Steve continued his studies at the Juilliard School and at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he was awarded a full scholarship to study with Fred Ormand.. >>MORE

Frank Southecorvo – Saxophone Teacher

Frank Southecorvo, saxophone teacherFrank Southecorvo teaches all levels of saxophone students and, in addition to teaching saxophone technique, enjoys teaching improvisation. He plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, splitting his time between teaching and playing with a variety of jazz, blues, and dance bands. Current bands include: Blind Lemon Phillips blues band, The Asheville Jazz Orchestra Big Band, Up Jumped Three Jazz Trio and Orange Krush Dance Band. >>MORE

Kate Steinbeck – Flute Teacher

Kate Steinbeck is recognized across the US and abroad as a passionate teacher, unique interpreter and innovative music producer with repertoire that ranges from Bach to Balinese. She loves teaching and revels in guiding students of all ages to discover the joy of making music and to achieve new levels of accomplishment and self-awareness. Her flute has taken her on many adventures and remarkable journeys. >>MORE


 Voice Lessons

Randall Outland – Voice Teacher and Opera Workshop

Randall Outland, voice instructorRandall Outland was, from 1995-2013, a member of the voice faculty at the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. His students won national and international auditions, were accepted into prestigious graduate programs, as well as employed as music teachers and music therapists throughout the nation. As a tenor, Outland has sung twenty-six roles in thirty-four different productions throughout the US and Europe. >>MORE

Clark Sorrells – Voice and Piano Teacher

Clark Sorrells, voice instructorClark teaches Voice as well as Piano.

See his summary above.




Simone Vigilante – Voice Teacher

Simone Vigilante, voice instructorSimone Vigilante began her studies at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY in piano but furthered her studies in Vocal Performance, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the (University of) North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Vigilante immediately continued her studies at America’s largest operatic training ground, Indiana University of Bloomington, from which she received a Masters in Music degree and completed some doctoral studies. >>MORE



Vance Reese – Faculty Accompanist

Vance Reese, organ and bass instructorDr. Reese has a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Southern Methodist University, a Masters of Music degree in sacred music from Scarritt College (Nashville), and a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University (DM in ’97) in the areas of organ, sacred music, and music history. Since that time he has performed in the Asheville area as an organist, bassist, and soloist. Recently, Dr. Reese wrote a children’s opera which was produced in 2014. >>MORE